Friessner, Johannes “Hans”, born 22-03-1892 in Chemnitz, Sachsen
, as the son of an construction engineer, enlisted in the German Army in 1911 and, after seeing extensive duty during World War I, served in the Reichswehr
following the war. Friessner was one of the few Saxons to attain a high position in the Wehrmacht. After his promotion to Oberstleutnant on 01-04–1935, to Oberst on 01-03-1938 and Generalmajor on 01-08-1940, during World War II, Frießner was assigned to the Eastern Front
where, on 01-05-1942, he would be placed in command of the 102nd
, he was succeeded by General der Infanterie, Otto Hitzfeld
The Soviet army’s East Prussian Offensive, from 13-01-1945 onwards, broke the under-strength 102nd
Division, which was pushed north and trapped in the Heiligenbeil pocket, being reassigned to the Fourth Army
under Generalleutnant der Infanterie, The Butcher of Crete” Friedrich Wilhem Müller
In February it held the perimeter near Mehlsack, before being assigned to defend Braunsberg until it fell on 20 March. A few troops broke through westwards and eventually surrendered to the Americans in Schleswig Holstein: the other encircled divisional elements in the kessel, pocket, were eventually taken over by the 28th
under Generalmajor der Infanterie, Ernst König
König died age 77, on 03-03-1982, in Göttingen. Shortly after his promotion to Generalleutnant on 01-10-1942, Frießner served as commander of the XXIII Corps from January 19-01-1943 until 11-11-1943, during which time he was promoted to General der Infanterie, on 01-04-1943.
In February 1944, Frießner was transferred to the Northern Front and assigned command to Sponheimer Group, renamed army detachment “Narva” on February 23. Winning promotion to Generaloberst on 01-07-1944, Frießner held briefly command of Army Group North,
he succeeded Generaloberst der Kavallerie, Georg Lindemann
until 25-07-1944, when he was succeeded by Feldmarschall der Gebirgstruppe, Ferdinand Schörner. He then was sent to the Southern Front to command South Ukraine Army Group, later renamed the Army Group South East. He took over the command of Feldmarschall, Erich von Manstein
and was succeeded by General der Infanterie, Otto Wöhler. Unable to halt the four month Soviet offensive by Marshal Rodion Malinovsky’s Second Ukrainian Front, Malinowski died age 68, on 31-03-1967 in Moscow. Frießner was relieved of his command on 22-12-1944. Friessner’s son Jochen, born 02-01-1922, an Oberleutnant in the 30th SS Grenadier Regiment, under SS Obersturmbannführer, of the Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling (Schutzmänner-Brigade Siegling), was killed, age 19, on 08-09-1941 in Russia.
Holding no further command for remainder of the war. During the early 1950s he was active in advising on the redevelopment of the German army: Bundeswehr (see Searle’s Wehrmacht Generals). In 1956, Friessner wrote Verratene Schlachten (Betrayed Battles)
a memoir of his tour of command of the South Ukraine Army Group.
Death and burial ground of Friessner, Johannes “Hans”.
Frießner would live in retirement in Bayerisch Gmain until his death, after a long heavy disease, on 26-26-1971, at the age of 79.
Kurt Schumacher (l), head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), speaks the executive chairman of the Union of German Soldiers (VdS), Hans Friessner (r), on 19-09-1951 in Bonn, Germany. Generaloberst Friessner is buried with his wife Hildegard, born Wölf, who died age 71 on 26-07-1972, on the cemetery of Gmain. In his commemorative speech, the dead Generaloberst was honored by the Deputy Commanding General of the II. Corps of the Bundeswehr, bearer of the Knight’s Cross, Generalmajor Franz Pöschl,
as a “particularly brave troop leader of a rare character”